Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Ways of selling surplus stuff - clothes recycling for cash, musicMagpie, Ebay and other such sites?

As you may remember we are currently living in a bit of a rearranged house, due to refurbishing and redecorating the guest bedroom. This means that all the furniture from that (large!) room, apart from the king size bed base, mattress and the triple wardrobe,  have been moved out and re distributed elsewhere in the house.

Our bedroom has extra stuff piled in the corner, the blanket chest is in the sitting room, a chest of drawers is now in the bathroom and as for the boxes which lived under the bed and the books  - well there is a lot more stuff in the attic now!

 I have had to do a major clear out and a de clutter - if you remember that is how I found Compostman's Christening robe again? It came up beautifully clean, after a gentle wash and drying in sunshine :-) I must take a photo and show you all :-)

I have a lot of old towels and surplus bedding ready to go to either a charity shop or to an animal shelter. But I also have sorted out some good stuff in the way of books, DVDs, CDs, games, shoes, handbags etc. Compostgirl is also in the middle of a bit of a sort out  - now she is 12 there are books and DVDs which she no longer wants but which might make her some money.

So, I would like to make some money from all this "stuff" by recycling for cash,  but am not quite sure what is the best method. Ideally I would like the cash to save or put towards some new garden items (a Gabriel Ash cold frame springs to mind!)


I do have a Trade in account which I use sometimes - this is easy to do if the stuff is in good condition but you do not get much money back and it stays in your Amazon account as a gift voucher, so can only be spent there.

I have signed up to an Amazon Sellers account as The Compost Bin, to list some of the books and DVDs but Amazon take quite a cut I think? And I also feel Amazon know enough about me, already, so I wanted to try somewhere else.


Given my wish to try a non Amazon site I was pleased to be asked to try out musicMagpie as I didn't really know there were online sites like it (I am so behind the times!) where you can sell all sorts of items such as CDs, DVDs and games, mobile phones, laptops, consoles - they even offer clothes recycling for cash!

With the musicMagpie site (I am guessing there are other sites which are similar?) you enter the barcode of the CD, DVD or game, or enter the make and model of the electronics item or the brand and type of the clothing onto the site and they give you an instant price (alternatively, you can use your computer’s webcam or the musicMagpie iPhone or Android app to scan in your barcodes and start selling your items - but I am doing it from my desktop computer not my phone)

I have registered on the site, which was easy to use, and have been sent a welcome email - it was easy to register and when I forgot my password (oops) I was sent a link to re-do it straight away  - no hanging around. I have entered a couple of CD's and a DS game into the valuation box and been offered what seems a reasonable price. I have a lot of good quality, little worn clothes which I will now never again wear, as I don't have that lifestyle anymore, so I am interested in clothes recycling for cash as well as CD's and DVD's.

You need a minimum of 10 items (or 1 tech,or 3 games) to complete an order, so I will have to add a few more things I want to sell before I can send it off. I found it easy to save items I have added to my seller account, until I have enough to place an order.

One of the appeals to me of musicMagpie is sending items to them is FREE! I can use one of many Local Send Shops open weekends, evenings and 7 days a week - my nearest is the Spar shop in Ledbury which is convenient, but I could chose from any other shop on the list, anywhere which suited me. If I had lots of stuff or heavy electronic equipment I could send the items using a FREE courier service which would come to my house to collect.

music Magpie pay by either cheque, bank transfer, M and S e-vouchers (ever heard of those?) or you can donate the money to charity. Obviously I have not yet sent off items and been paid so I can't yet comment on how well that side of the site works, but so far I am impressed with my initial use of the site. I will keep you posted about the musicMagpie experience as it unfolds


I have a seller account as The Compost Bin on Ebay but with the recent postage increase I gather it has become less economically viable to sell cheaper things and make much profit. The appeal of musicMagpie is that it has FREE postage and I don't have to even queue at the Post Office, as I can leave the parcel at the Spar shop, in Ledbury.

Second hand shops

One other alternative is "Stock Exchange" type shops where clothes, shoes, handbags etc can be sold and the shop takes a commission (usually 50%, sometimes less). We have a very up market "posh frock"one in Ledbury and a more general one in Newent - which sells good quality stuff, the shop is well run and always busy and they take children's clothes, toys, games and books as well as adult clothes, shoes, bags and family DVDs.  I have a box of good, little worn  items which will be going to this shop to be sold on and I get paid in cash for these if they sell or I can have them back after 8 weeks if they have not sold. I might then relist them on musicMagpie!

Car Boots sales

I know a lot of you sell at Car boots, but they really do not appeal to me at all and people do not seem to get decent prices for items? Maybe I am wrong, though - anyone any thoughts on this?

Any other ideas for selling items? Any of you do it differently or use another on line service?

Disclaimer - I had a post in mind about ways to go about selling my items for cash and then I was asked to review the musicMagpie site for a  fee - so I have added in my experiences to this post.  I have  signed up to the site and intend to sell items through it so as to provide a fair review - as always the words I write are my own and are my honest opinions.


  1. Car boots are easy - you take a load of stuff, have in mind the lowest price you want, get there early,put it on a table,be prepared for idiots who want everything for nothing, sell as much as poss and be home again by 1 O'clock. Even when we've thought we had nothing much to sell we've come home with £50. Now only do one alternate years as we don't buy much STUFF.I've blogged about what bargains we've found at frugalinsuffolk and will blog about how we get on at selling this year as soon as we do one in the next month. Enjoy your blog. Have a freind who is a master composter in Suffolk

    1. Hello :-) Thats interesting about Car boots- I tried one once andwas deeply not impressed. Maybe I should try again!

      I will go and have a look at your blog posts when I have a moment - have to do some more stuff outside right now.

      Say hello to your friend who is a MC, maybe I know him or her?

    2. Hit return too soon!

      meant to also say, glad you enjoy my blog :-)

  2. I only ever sell stuff on EBay really. I haven't found the postage costs to have escalated too much but I guess it depends on the size of the item you're posting.
    I haven't really tried any other sites because I don't think they pay as well. One website was offering 30p for an almost new & current DVD.
    I love car boots though, however since living here we haven't bothered with them.
    I'm going to be interested to see what everyone elses opinions are though and hopefully get some new ideas.
    Thanks for sharing


  3. Linda, one of the reasons I composed this post was to get other people's ideas and thoughts on how best to sell stuff

    I have compared musicMagpie to Amazon and yes the mighty A are a bit more generous BUT you have to sell it first! MM take the stuff off you - it is then up to them to sell it on and take the profit (or loss) from doing so.

    As I just want to get the stuff gone, and make a bit of cash, that seems quite attractive! Rather than having boxes of things around, waiting until I get a good enough offer for them


  4. Thanks so much for this post, had no idea that MM took items other than cd's and dvd's! Will have a look... if it's a decent price and I can ship them off for free, I'm there! lol

    Have used Amazon for selling, but getting a fair price is hard when so many sell so cheap (a majority of my book purchases in the last 6 years or so have been Amazon '1p' purchases). Ebay is ok for smaller/light items. Haven't done a carboot for ages and ages...

    Off to scan MM! :)

    1. Glad to have been helpful Kadeeae

      I didn't even know that MM existed until I was asked to review the site - but it looks good and as you say, it is free postage!

  5. Sorry, meant to add that I do have a "for sale" page on my blog - I have sold items there before, so might be a thought if it's something small/light where postage would be reasonable - works if you have a paypal account and can just give the buyer your 'pay to' email address.

    If I add something I just say so in a post :)

    1. I have put my Amazon front page link up on the sidebar and yes I have a Paypal address for work I do on here, so could add a button to it.

      Good idea ;-)


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.